Comparing symptom reporting by prostate cancer patients and healthcare professionals in the international multicentre REQUITE study

Philipp Heumann, Miguel E Aguado-Barrera, Barbara Avuzzi, David Azria, Erik Briers, Renée Bultijnck, Ananya Choudhury, Dirk De Ruysscher, Marie-Pierre Farcy-Jacquet, Valérie Fonteyne, Antonio Gómez Caamaño, Irmgard Helmbold, Kerstie Johnson, Sarah L Kerns, Maarten Lambrecht, Zoe Lingard, Tiziana Rancati, Barry Rosenstein, Elena Sperk, R Paul SymondsChristopher Talbot, Riccardo Valdagni, Ana Vega, Liv Veldeman, Tim Ward, Adam Webb, Catharine West, Jenny Chang-Claude, Petra Seibold*, REQUITE consortium

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


INTRODUCTION: Previous studies showed that healthcare professionals and patients had only moderate to low agreement on their assessment of treatment-related symptoms. We aimed to determine the levels of agreement in a large cohort of prostate cancer patients.

METHODS: Analyses were made of data from 1,756 prostate cancer patients treated with external beam radiotherapy (RT) and/or brachytherapy in Europe and the USA and recruited into the prospective multicentre observational REQUITE study. Eleven pelvic symptoms at the end of RT were compared after translating patient-reported outcomes (PROs) into CTCAE-based healthcare professional ratings. Gwet's AC2 agreement coefficient and 95% confidence intervals were calculated for each symptom. To compare severity of grading between patients and healthcare professionals, percent agreement and deviations for each symptom were graphically depicted. Stratified and sensitivity analyses were conducted to identify potential influencing factors and to assess heterogeneity and robustness of results.

RESULTS: The agreement for the 11 pelvic symptoms varied from very good (AC2>0.8: haematuria, rectal bleeding, management of sphincter control) to poor agreement (AC2≤0.2: urinary frequency fair, proctitis and urinary urgency). Fatigue had a negative impact on the agreement. Patients tended to grade symptoms more severely than healthcare professionals. Information on sexual dysfunction was missing more frequently in healthcare professional assessment than PROs.

CONCLUSION: Agreement was better for observable than subjective symptoms, with patients usually grading symptoms more severely than healthcare professionals. Our findings emphasize that PROs should complement symptom assessment by healthcare professionals and be taken into consideration for clinical decision-making to incorporate the patient perspective.

Original languageEnglish
Article number109426
Number of pages10
JournalRadiotherapy and Oncology
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2023

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